HikingLeslie Gulch, Eastern Oregon
The drive into Leslie Gulch can be quite an epic adventure. The road down in the gulch is a well maintained gravel road, but up on the flat area above the gulch there are many different undeveloped tracks. Upon coming out of the gulch , I met a guy in a pickup with a camper that had been lost for 2 days. I gave him directions back to the highway.
Many of the rock formations seem ready to separate from the high cliffs above at any moment and tumble down to the valley floor.
This rock wall looks as if many stone faces have been cast into the rock. While hiking by this formation I had the eerie feeling that I was being watched by thousands of eyes. The formations were actually formed by pockets of gas developing in rhyolite deposits from the Mahogany Mountain /Leslie Gulch ash flow tuft.
This rock wall looks as if many stone faces have been cast into the rock. While hiking by this formation I had the eerie feeling that I was being watched by thousands of eyes.
Bobeu and Hank and I headed up the Juniper Gulch trail. The trail is basically a wash, so I was very aware that I was in flash flood territory. The dark rain clouds and high humidity were also good indicators to the potential for flash flooding.
Among the other amazing and extraordinary formations I found this huge cave. The cave may be a good place to spend the night if there wasn’t any wind blowing into the opening. I would later find some deeper caves.
Another balanced rock. This one extending above an area of faces cast in stone.
Bobeau and Hank have a good time hiking in this area. They are very calm and follow me and stay on the trail the entire hike. They are very well behaved.
This rock reminds me of some kind of mushroom. The formations are very interesting when analyzed in detail. The combination of wind and water has further sculpted the original gas bubble formations over the years in the soft malleable rhyolite.
This rock is about the size of a dinosaur egg. I can imagine a prehistoric animal emerging from the rock. I can easily stand inside the rock as I pass by it on my hike.
Weather is starting to set in. It is starting to drizzle and the wind is really picking up.
The Leslie Gulch area is a great place to let your imagination run wild! There are so many odd formations and so many stimuli to imagine familiar objects in the stone. Here is an eagle perched on top of a large stone mass. Behind him is an alien form. Leslie Gulch is a lush garden for the imagination that spawns natural visions of the extraordinary.
These stone pillars rise vertically from the valley floor below. This could be a climber’s dream if they enjoyed chimney stemming. From a distance this formation looks like a throne for a giant.
The course of water can be seen in this gully reminding me of the bobsled tracks used in Olympic competition.
This cave was on the outside corner of the wash. I belive a gas bubble created the cave and then water has increased its depth over the years. Water erosion has carved out the cavern under the overhanging cliffs as it continually rounds the corner and centripetal force causes a scouring of the soft rhyolite.
Still inside the wash. This wall has held up against the erosion
The berries are know for use in flavoring Gin. They were also traditionally used as a spice in European cuisine. Not an actual berry, they are the female conifer seed cone of the juniper tree. Some species (Juniperus Sabina) are poisonous. This photo most resembles Juniperus Californica (California Juniper) or possibly Juniperus Osteosperma (Utah Juniper).
This is a small cabin on the way out of Leslie Gulch.